Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school football polls, and every week we tell you how The News voted.
The News is one of 10 voters on the large and small school polls.
1. Orchard Park (5-0)  -- I'm keeping them here. Last week's eyebrow-raiser at Frontier isn't as much an eyebrow-raiser after the Falcons beat Jamestown. This week OP beat Lancaster by 10 in a game that yes, was closer than we thought. But they still won and we still like what they have to offer.
And yes, since I'll be seeing at least two of the top three in big games this week (OP at Jamestown Friday; St. Joe's at Lockport and/or Aquinas at Canisius Saturday), I'll plead guilty to sticking with my poll while waiting to see this week's action. I haven't seen enough in person or through the results of the teams (and their opponents) to knock OP from the No. 1 spot.
2. Canisius (5-0)  -- These guys remain in this spot over their rivals. Pleading guilty to the wait-and-see approach: Canisius hosts Aquinas this Saturday. That game will give us a clear Canisius/Joe's answer -- until the two play, of course. Until then, the St. Francis games (Canisius dominated while St. Joe's hung on), and Canisius' better schedule overall, lead me here.
3. St. Joe's (5-0)  -- Obviously a tremendous win at Aquinas. If Aquinas didn't struggle the way it did with McQuaid the week before (6-3 victory; last two years have been blowouts), I might have moved them up higher. I thought Aquinas was the same old Aquinas this season (especially after its rout at St. Francis to start), but I'm not so sure now. Again, wait-and-see for this weekend is certainly a factor.
4. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (3-2)  -- Loss to Aquinas puts them behind Joe's.
5. Sweet Home (5-0)  -- Canisius' clear win over McKinley and Panthers' one-touchdown hangon win deserve separation in the poll.
6. West Seneca East (5-0)  -- Down a spot only because of Joe's shooting up the chart. Repeating from last week: I consider them very, very, very close behind Sweet Home.
7. Lockport (4-1)  -- Quality win at Kenmore West to head them to most likely the AA North title. Awesome home game with St. Joe's Saturday. Great place to watch a football game.
8. McKinley (3-2)  -- This past weekend's rout of Kenmore East (44-0) shows they deserve to be ranked higher than 5-0 Grand Island (26-14 win over Ken East in Week One); also, McKinley's win at Will North was clearer than GI's. How the Macks played against Sweet Home also helps them deserve this spot. Other loss is Canisius, which I think would beat any other teams in consideration for the 8-9-10 holes.
9. Frontier (4-1) [NR] -- Tough picks down here, but I'm going with AA over A. Falcons should be rewarded for great home win over Jamestown, not to mention nice game against Orchard Park the previous week.
10. Jamestown (4-1)  -- The loss at Frontier was a close one, and we think they're too good to leave out of the top 10.
Grand Island won that close one with Williamsville North, but I just don't see them having separated themselves enough from the rest of a Class A pack -- one that got pretty wild last week with Bennett beating Williamsville East and Iroquois beating Williamsville South -- to move past those AA schools.
1. Alden (5-0)  -- Talk about underlining your status as the top small school.
2. Depew (4-1)  -- I'm keeping them here. Still a very good, very talented team. A lot of that is because I think so highly of Alden that the big win is more about Alden than it is Depew. Also ...
3. Cheektowaga (5-0)  -- ... I just don't see these Warriors as having separated themselves enough from their competition to earn No. 2 over Depew. It's close.
4. St. Mary's (3-2)  -- Playing Timon tough this week eliminates much of the thinking that the Canisius game was a fluke. I thought about moving these guys up as well.
5. Burgard (4-1)  -- Gritty league win at Lackawanna is a very strong one.
6. Maple Grove (5-0)  -- Red Dragons keep rolling along. They may have a claim on a higher spot, but it's crowded up here.
7. Lew-Port (4-1) [NR] -- After two-TD opening loss to Burgard, wins over Tonawanda, Amherst, Class A likely playoff team South Park and at Maryvale make it the latest from the Wild B West to appear on this ballot.
8. Cleveland Hill (4-1)  -- We'll keep them a sliver ahead of their rivals (how about that meeting at JFK in Week Seven?) based on a win over a member of the Wild B West (Maryvale in Week One).
9. JFK (4-1)  -- Otherwise, the schedules look the same: loss at Fredonia, close wins over Akron and Wilson.
10. Salamanca (4-1) [NR] -- Only loss a zany OT one-pointer to Southwestern.
Fredonia is 4-1 with home wins over JFK and Cleve Hill, but its loss at Wilson keeps them out of the running for now. Kind of crazy, I know. Maybe I'm penalizing Pioneer too much, but while I give previously-winless Springville much props for the win, the Panthers have to win that game. Eden's loss at home also eliminated them from poll consideration. The winner of Chautauqua Lake-Randolph this week will have a good resume for next week.
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